Innisfree Garden, July 21

03IMG_0255_edited-1We raced out the door, so as to arrive as soon as Innisfree Garden opened, in hopes of beating the worst of the heat. We had the benefit of a good breeze and plenty of shady spots, including our favorite place to sit and watch for jumping fish. We didn’t see many fish, but dragonflies were out in force.

Listening List

Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 6 “Sinfonia semplice”, FS 116 (August 1924–December 1925)

Orchestration: Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in F, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, glockenspiel, triangle, cymbals, snare drum, bass drum (finale only), xylophone (finale only), strings

Program notes on Nielsen’s Sixth Symphony are included here.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 in E-Flat Major (1945)

Orchestration: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (bass drum, cymbals, snare drum, suspended cymbal, tambourine, triangle), and strings

Program notes on Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony may be found here, and a previous post about the symphony may be found here.


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Credits: The photographs, as always on the blog unless otherwise indicated, are mine.


Innisfree Garden in Mid-July

08IMG_0152_edited-1We’ve had a spell of hot, humid days, and this day was no exception, but there was plenty of shade and a bit of a breeze. Insects abounded. The fish jumped for them, sometimes a good two feet in the air, or so it seemed. Continue reading

Impressions of Portugal, Last Day in Lisbon

King José I, Praça do Comércio

King José I, Praça do Comércio

On our last day in Portugal, there was much to do: purchasing gifts for family and friends and a pilgrimage to the Café-Restaurante Martinho da Arcada. The café is another favorite Pessoa haunt, with a table reserved for him in perpetuity. As the café was in the Praça do Comércio, we decided to end our Portuguese journey where most tourists would have begun, in the Lisboa Story Center. Continue reading

Impressions of Portugal, On the Way Back to Lisbon

Castelo de Santiago do Cacém

Castelo de Santiago do Cacém

Better than two months have passed since our last days in Portugal. On March 30, we left the Alentejo to head back to Lisbon, a short trip that could easily accommodate a stop or two along the way. The taxi driver who drove us to the rental car office when we’d first headed out from Lisbon was from the Alentejo. He spoke to us in rapid English about sites we shouldn’t miss. (Indeed, it seemed to us he’d have preferred we didn’t bother with the Alentejo at all.) Before we disembarked, he wrote out a “must-see” site on a torn off scrap of paper: Ruínas Romanas de Miróbriga, ruins of a Roman city dating from the 1st century A.D. Continue reading

Storm King Art Center in June

Alexander Calder, The Arch (foreground)

Alexander Calder, The Arch (foreground)

The day was hot, and I’d had a late start, but I decided to give it a try. The Storm King Art Center is about an hour’s drive south, and I arrived at noon. Instead of taking to the open fields, I followed a path up toward the museum, shaded for much of the way. The humidity was down, and there was a welcome breeze. It turned out to be a boon to veer off my past course, as I gained new angles on familiar works and happened across others, by Hepworth, Nevelson, Pomodoro, and von Rydingsvard, I’d not seen before. Continue reading